June 21, 2024
Annapolis, US 91 F

Visit Annapolis Names Kristen Pironis as New Executive Director

Kristen Pironis, Executive Director, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County. (Courtesy Photo)

Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County (VAAAC) has announced the appointment of its next Executive Director, Kristen Pironis.

VAAAC Chairman of the Board Gary Jobson says he is confident VAAAC has hired the right person for the job. “Kristen brings a wealth of strategic planning, operations, and governance experience to the organization. Her collaborative skills and mission-driven focus will be key as VAAAC works to help revitalize Annapolis and Anne Arundel County’s tourism industry post COVID-19 and beyond. The Board of Directors and VAAAC team are eager to work with Kristen to help explore and enhance tourism opportunities throughout the county at this pivotal time,” says Jobson. Pironis officially assumes the reins at VAAAC on Monday, April 19.

For the past 16 years, Pironis has worked with the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation, serving most recently as Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications.  Alumni Association and Foundation President and CEO Byron Marchant says Pironis has what it takes to thrive in her new position with VAAAC. As he sees it, “Kristen has been an invaluable member of the senior leadership team at the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation for the past 15 years. Her numerous leadership achievements in support of our global alumni community will serve her well as the new executive director of VAAAC. We wish her fair winds and following seas. As a significant contributor to Annapolis tourism, our Association and Foundation looks forward to working with Kristen in her new role.”

As Pironis wraps up her tenure with the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation over the next few weeks, she plans to start laying the groundwork for her new role at VAAAC. “I’ll begin talking with VAAAC’s partners, with elected and government officials. I want to learn how to balance their needs, their wants, their expectations. Their feedback will help to inform VAAAC’s direction moving forward. We’re going to need a near term, post COVID-19 plan that looks a year to 18 months out. Concurrent with that, we’ll need to develop a long-term strategic plan that addresses the next five years,” says Pironis.

Commenting on the appointment, Pironis said, “Having a new person come in as executive director gives everyone the opportunity to pause, think about what they have done and where they want to go, and then create a path for getting there. I feel like everything is in place for Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to thrive. They have a talented and experienced staff, a professional board, and engaged partners and members. All we need is an executive director to pull it all together.”

A native of Kansas, the incoming executive director moved to Maryland nearly 30 years ago to attend the University of Maryland, College Park, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and a Master of Science degree in Nonprofit and Association Management. She resides in Queen Anne’s County.

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